Atari ST in daily use since 1985 to run campground

Originally published at: Atari ST in daily use since 1985 to run campground | Boing Boing

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Whatever connected it to a LAN, and then the Internet, would probably be faster and with more ram. (I mean, my Palm IIIe has 2M ram and has a 16 MHz 68000.)

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Also, looking at the html, the Microsoft fonts and this usemap="#MicrosoftOfficeMap0" stand out. There must be something Windows involved :wink:

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Ars link goes to same video. Intended this?

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Cool… but if had he used an Amiga instead he’d have been able to run 4 campgrounds simultaneously, while playing some rad MOD files in the background.

Missed opportunity Frans…

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The website likely isn’t served from the Atari. He has a contemporary PC on the desk right net to the Atari.

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He said he turns it on in April and off in October. But I suspect he’s mining Bitcoin with it in the offseason.

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What an awesome find in the wild! Even sweeter that he’s adorably humble about it. Go Frans!

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One of my first jobs after college in the Early 2000’s was at a small middle school. Their building controls were still run off an old 286 from the early 80’s. When I asked why they said it was rock solid and just worked, I also think they didn’t ever budget for a new building control system and were just flying by the seat of their pants with what had been working for 20 some years. No one knew anything about the software and it was so old I wasn’t sure if it was CPM or DOS on the system and I only had a little bit of DOS know how at that point, but I had been told to not touch it as it was incredibly important (so important that no one knew anything about it), but it just sat in a corner of the teachers break room with no security or passwords required to get on it.

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Fascinating! And another data point to support my “leave your computer on 24/7 for max life” opinion.

In a similar vein, a local pony track has a scoreboard (oddsboard?) powered by a Radio Shack CoCo (Colour Computer). They guy who made it was known to pay good money for CoCos.

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The website is absolutely not served from the ST. It’s not going to be served from the PC next to it either. It’ll be a Squarespace or cloud-hosted Wordpress or similar, like nearly every website in the world. There’s no reason or advantage to hosting a site on your local computer and it’s a huge security risk to boot.

SSL was basically the death knell for getting retro hardware on the web. Until https, you could still get 16 bit machines and even some 8-bits to parse simple HTML and render a page. The TCP/IP stack needs to be handled on dedicated hardware for the 8-bits. Some 16-bits like the Amiga and Apple IIgs can just barely manage that in software. SSL though is right out. Just verifying a certificate takes more horsepower than any machine from that era can muster in a week. Encryption is hard. It’s still possible through a bridge like a Raspberry Pi, and there are some SSL hardware cards, but the standards keep evolving and these machines are being left way behind.

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I was surprised how many things there are like that in industry. “The vendor went out of business 10 years ago, nobody knows how it works, if you unplug it then [crucial feature x] stops working, just don’t touch it ok?”

Not every site, but enough that I’m no longer shocked.

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That monitor is adorable (a word I’ve only used when describing my gal, my niece, and cats.)

It loads too quickly to be Wordpress and there isn’t 3Mb of unnecessary crap so it can’t be Squarespace.

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